Recreational marijuana dispensary sales were supposed to begin on January 1, 2018, but the state’s Senate and House have pushed it back to July 1, 2018, because more time is needed to determine the final regulations.
Senate President Stan Rosenberg says the delay is because public health and safety concerns need to be addressed first, according to Reuters. Deadlines are also pushed back for taxes, regulations and of course, sales. The state required Cannabis Control Commission will have until September 1, 2017 to be formed.
Rosenberg said, “This short delay will allow the necessary time for the legislature to work with stakeholders on improving the new. Luckily, we are in a position where we can learn from the experiences of other states to implement the most responsible recreational in the country.”
Advocates of the new legislation are highly disappointed with the delays. Advocacy campaign leader Jim Borghesani said, “We’re very disappointed with what they did and with the way they did it. We’re disappointed that they extended this awkward period we’re in now where possession is legal but sales are not.”
Governor Charlie Baker will soon sign the bill delaying retail sales into law. He plans to work with public health officials and lawmakers to get proper legalization regulations in place.